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WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly denied he had any compromising material about U.S. President Donald Trump in a televised interview broadcast on Sunday.
“Well, this is just another load of nonsense,” Putin said on NBC News’ “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” when asked whether he had any damaging information on the Republican president.
The remarks were the latest in a series of denials from Moscow that have had little impact so far on a political crisis in the United States over potential links between Russia and Trump’s inner circle.
Putin also told NBC he had no relationship with Trump, despite Trump’s previous travel to Russia as a businessman. Putin noted that executives from perhaps 100 American companies were currently in Russia.
“Do you think we’re gathering compromising information on all of them right now or something?” Putin asked, before saying: “Have you all lost your senses?”
Trump has called an FBI investigation into alleged ties between his campaign and Russia a “witch hunt” designed to undermine the legitimacy of his 2016 election win.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow interfered in last year’s U.S. presidential election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.
“They have been misled,” Putin told NBC. “And they aren’t analyzing the information in its entirety. I haven’t seen, even once, any direct proof of Russian interference in the (U.S.) presidential election.” (Reporting by Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Peter Cooney)